Read the original article here.
When Lizzy Blanchard was pregnant for the first time five years ago, everyone assumed she would give birth in her local hospital. She wasn't so sure.
"I always had an instinctive feeling that a home birth was right for me," she says. "Everyone said: 'You're very brave!' but there was nothing brave about it. I was simply more frightened by the idea of spending time in hospital than of giving birth."
Her feelings were compounded after a tour of the maternity unit of her local teaching hospital.
"It looked like a Hammer horror film - old-fashioned, with poky little rooms, full of terrifying instruments like the ventouse [a vacuum device to help with delivery], the bed that goes up and down, the kidney shaped thing to puke in. I thought I'd much rather puke in my own bucket."
Despite the misgivings of her GP and her husband, Blanchard, from Surrey, who is now 35, went ahead with her plan.
"The labour wasn't easy but I felt relaxed because I was in my own environment," she says. "I could walk up and down the stairs, eat a plate of pasta from my own kitchen rather than be told I'd have to go hungry because the hospital canteen was closed."